Let’s face it: we’re all so sick of robocalls and illegal spoofing that we’re hesitant to even pick up the phone for a number we don’t recognize. It’s annoying enough when the calls are directed to your personal number, but when they start hitting your employees at work and impacting your business, there’s an entirely new level of frustration.
With the help of voice service providers around the country, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is fighting fraud on your behalf, and our team at TelNet Worldwide is proud to be a part of the solution. So let’s get into these efforts and explore how they’ll impact your organization.
It all started with the TRACED Act
The Pallone-Thune Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act was signed into law on December 30, 2019 to mitigate fraudulent calling. Among other things, the TRACED Act required that the FCC adopt new rules requiring voice service providers to implement robocall mitigation programs to combat the origination of illegal robocalls on their networks.
One of the most significant results of the TRACED Act was the adoption of the STIR/SHAKEN framework. Providers are now required to implement this caller ID authentication technology in the internet protocol (IP) portions of their networks. Additionally, all providers are required to certify in the Robocall Mitigation Database that they have fully implemented STIR/SHAKEN or have instituted a Robocall Mitigation Plan to ensure that they are not originating illegal robocalls.
In response, we have assessed our infrastructure and equipment needs, committed capital expenditure and are in the process of deploying a STIR/SHAKEN-proficient core voice framework that will be completed in 2021.
TelNet’s Robocall Mitigation Plan
The FCC requires voice service providers to develop a Robocall Mitigation Plan that:
- Details the reasonable steps that are taken to avoid originating illegal robocalls
- Demonstrates a commitment to participate in traceback requests and to cooperate with investigations to stop illegal robocalls
- Is filed in the Robocall Mitigation Database to certify a full implementation of STIR/SHAKEN or the institution of a Robocall Mitigation Plan
So let’s talk about the steps we’re taking to mitigate robocalls and illegal spoofing.
We have a robust monitoring platform utilizing industry-leading technology that performs SIP analytics and call detail record (CDR) analysis in real-time. This allows us to identify potentially illegal robocalling on our network.
Through this platform, we can detect large bursts of calls in a short timeframe through dynamic traffic analysis; identify patterns of low average call duration and/or low completion rates through CDR analytics; identify large numbers of calls from invalid numbers; review common caller ID name (CNAM) values across service providers; and detect calls from numbers that are invalid, unallocated, unassigned or listed on Do Not Originate (DNO) registries.
When TelNet Worldwide’s real-time monitoring platform identifies suspicious calls or calling patterns, we will seek to identify the party that is using our network to originate, route or terminate these calls. Our investigation can include verifying that the originating customer owns (or is authorized to use) the caller ID number, suspending the offender’s ability to originate or terminate calls on our network, and/or initiating a traceback investigation.
A traceback investigation is the process of determining the origin of a call, typically starting with the receiving party and terminating voice service provider and tracing backwards through the path to the origin of the call.
If, after appropriate investigation, we determine that illegal robocalls are likely originating or transiting on our network, we will stem the flow of the calls.
In the event that we receive reports of potentially illegal robocalling from an outside source (customer, peer carriers, ITG traceback requests), our Network Operations Team will expeditiously initiate an investigation per our investigation approach.
A better calling experience
This plan is going to help us improve our customer experience across the board. Ever noticed your business calls being flagged as suspicious or spammy? Moving forward, we’ll be able to scan “reputation databases” to identify when our customers might be erroneously flagged as spam. Our quick response will help maintain your trusted reputation.
Plus, it’ll allow us to identify whether you may be the victim of identity theft via number spoofing. (This is usually what’s going on when people return a call that you don’t remember placing in the first place.)
And, of course, there’s the other side of the coin: protecting our customers from receiving spam and illegal robocalls. Calls coming into our network destined for our customers will be subject to the same reputation lookup. We’ll be able to alert you to the phone numbers that have a history of misbehaving, so that you’ll be confident answering the phone again.
TelNet’s Robocall Mitigation Plan will evolve and adapt to the dynamic nature of illegal robocalling. We’re committing to a yearly review of this plan (at minimum) to re-evaluate our processes in order to ensure our network has the flexibility and speed needed to respond to (and protect you from) fraud.